Harrisburg, PA Tesla Supercharger Is Open

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Owners Gathered for an Unofficial Ribbon Cutting

A group of Tesla owners and enthusiasts gathered to socialize and have an unofficial ribbon cutting to inaugurate the new Supercharger in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on May 22, 2016.

About 16 Tesla cars were there including a Signature Roadster that can’t use the Superchargers. The driver of that car charged up at one of the Tesla destination charging stations at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey. (see: Tesla Expanding Destination Charging in Mid-Atlantic)

The Harrisburg Supercharger quietly went into service on May 9, 2016 and is located beside the UPS Store at 3915 Union Deposit Rd, in the Union Square Shopping Center near where I-81 and I-83 intersect on the northeast side of the city. (link to map)

Bridges the Allentown – Somerset Jump

This Supercharger will make is much easier to cross the state on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Allentown to Somerset. Before Harrisburg opened, you had to jump a 209 mile gap between Superchargers unless you detoured south via Newark and Hagerstown.

Laurel, Maryland Supercharger Now Under Construction

Another Supercharger is being built in Laurel, Maryland. Stay tuned for updates on the opening of that location.

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Bethesda Supercharger Shutting Down on June 30, 2016

Scheduled to be Decommissioned

The Temporary Supercharger in the garage at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda will be decommissioned on June 30, 2016 according to a note attributed to Tesla. A new Supercharger with 8 stalls is under construction between DC & Baltimore off of I-95 in Laurel, Maryland.

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photo by vdiv

“Temporary Supercharger to be decommissioned on June 30, 2016. A new, permanent Supercharger is under construction at the Towne Centre at Laurel to serve travelers. Once the new station is open, it will appear on the Tesla Trip Planner and on www.tesla.com. If you need assistance installing a home charging solution, please contact the Tesla charging installation team…”

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photo by vdiv

Originally Designated as a Temporary Supercharger

The Supercharger in Bethesda was always meant to be temporary. It was placed in January, 2014 during the initial coast-to-coast Supercharger route build out. At the time, it was rumored to have been put there to support the two cars that Tesla sent from LA to NY to break a Guinness World Record. The rally cars ended up going direct from Hagerstown to Newark.

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Private Property Anti-ICEing Law in Effect for Howard County

Ticket for blocking an EV Charging Spot Parking Citation SUV

Allows Police to Enforce on Private Property

As of May 11, 2016, the Howard County, Maryland law that gives police the explicit authority to write tickets for ICEing on private property is in effect. The space at the charging station must be designated with a sign that conforms to applicable standards.

Howard County Council Bill CB7-2016

In March, the Howard County Council passed an amendment that added the following two sentences to the existing anti-ICEing law:
(1) THE POLICE DEPARTMENT MAY ENFORCE THIS SECTION ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR PRIVATE PROPERTY.
(2) THE POLICE DEPARTMENT MAY IMPOUND A VEHICLE THAT IS PARKED IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.

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Regulatory Signage Needed in Order to be Enforceable

In order for the Howard County Police to enforce the law, the spot must have a sign that is at least 12 inches by 18 inches and meet applicable State or Federal standards for parking control signs, i.e. standards as defined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

Very few charging stations in Howard County have these signs. The dark blue signs at Columbia Association parking lots have not conformed to the standards but they are working with Howard County on getting new signs that do. As of May 10, 2016, the new signs had not been installed but unofficial pavement markings at each of the charging spots have been applied and when combined with the official signs, is expected to help reduce the ICEing problem.

A Role for Local EV Organizations?

The next challenge is to convince private parking lot managers to post the regulatory signs that will allow the laws to be enforced. I’ve suggested that local non-profit EV organizations could use their status in the community and leverage their sizable memberships as well as their financial resources to educate property owners and supply signs that meet the standards required in Howard, Montgomery and Baltimore Counties. A coordinated effort to get official signs installed would be more productive than public “shaming” on social media and freelance spray painting like happened a few years ago. (see: Is Graffiti the Right Response to ICEing Problem?)

@Lanny

Laurel Supercharger Begins Construction

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The Tesla Supercharger in Laurel, MD is now officially under construction.

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A crew broke ground at the site in the Towne Centre at Laurel today.

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The crates holding the Supercharger cabinets were moved to a remote area of the parking lot.

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@Lanny for @PlugInSites

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Laurel Maryland Tesla Supercharger Delivery

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Four crates labeled “DC SUPERCHARGER” along with two big electrical cabinets, various boxes and conduit were delivered to the Towne Centre at Laurel within the past few days.

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Construction of the long-awaited Laurel Supercharger station is about to begin. It should take about four or five weeks to complete.

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The white spray painted square marks the area where the Supercharger equipment will be installed within a walled enclosure.

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Eight pull-in stalls are planned in the area where the crates are standing.

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Laurel MD Tesla Supercharger Site Ready for Construction

Permit issued for Tesla Supercharger at Towne Centre at Laurel

According to the City of Laurel, a permit has been issued to build a Tesla Supercharger at 14700 Baltimore Avenue in the Towne Centre at Laurel. Plans are for eight stalls on the lower level of the parking garage next to the Regal Movie Theater.

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These photos taken at the Supercharger site show that Miss Utility has recently paid a visit. The transformer will be to the left of the red markings.

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Eight pull-in stalls are proposed to go along the western side of the garage.

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Hagerstown Valley Mall – Two ChargePoint Fast Chargers

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Two DC Fast Chargers have appeared online at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown, Maryland. They’re on the ChargePoint network and pricing is listed as $0.05/min, $0.19/kWh.

These are the ChargePoint Express 200 liquid-cooled models made by Tritium with both a CHAdeMO and SAE Combo connector. They have a 50kW output that charges at a maximum rate of 200 RPH (miles of Range Per Hour).

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Click here for map and details of Maryland EVIP CHAdeMO/SAE Combo Fast Chargers.

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SUV Towed From ICEd Charging Station

Tow truck ICEd EV Charging Station

photo used by permission

It seems to rarely happen but sometimes the rules are enforced when an ICE vehicle blocks an EV charging station. This photo was sent to us by a PlugInSites reader and was taken at One Loudoun near the Alamo Cinema in Ashburn, Virginia.

The charging station space is marked with a sign the states, “ELECTRIC CAR PARKING ONLY – TOWING ENFORCED” It also includes the telephone number to call if towed. The pavement is marked with a blue square bearing an EV charging symbol.

Many jurisdictions allow private property owners such as shopping centers to tow vehicles that trespass or do not follow the rules set by the property. This presumably fell into that category since neither Virginia nor Loudoun County have an anti-ICEing law.

The management of One Loudoun is apparently willing to enforce their parking restrictions. A woman reportedly ran out and chased after the tow truck as it carried away the SUV.

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Ocean City, Maryland Charging Station Update – April, 2016

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click map to zoom

Last summer, there were absolutely no public charging stations in Ocean City, Maryland. The best you could do was try to use a 120v outlet at your hotel or, if you had a Tesla, hit the Supercharger in Salisbury on your way in and ration your miles during your stay.

What a difference a year makes. Now there are 16 charging ports at six locations in OC plus a DC Fast Charger at the Royal Farms Store in West Ocean City that serves CHAdeMO and SAE Combo equipped cars. Ten of the charging ports (seven Tesla Wall Connectors and three J-1772 ClipperCreek 30A Level 2) were installed as part of the Tesla Destination Charging program.

The Atlantic House Bed and Breakfast has one Tesla station for guests. The Holiday Inn Oceanfront has four 80A Tesla connectors and two 30A J-1772 stations. Desk Manager, Vlad Paic and Digital Marketing Coordinator, Kevin Lloyd, spearheaded the initiative to bring the Tesla charging program to this Harrison Group property which was the first of these new charging sites to open in November, 2015.

The Town of Ocean City placed two Tesla stations and one ClipperCreek at the Convention Center under the Tesla program. The Town also accepted an offer from Baltimore-based EVI to install two stations each at Northside Park, the library and the OC Recreation Complex.

So, when you plan your summer drive to Ocean City this year, you can take the electric car. Here is a spectacular video of Ocean City taken from a drone. Enjoy.

April 15, 1916 Beardsley Electric Tour in Los Angeles

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Today is the Centennial of the Beardsley Electric Tour held April 15, 1916 in Southern California.

One hundred years ago, on a clear Saturday morning, the owners of 35 California-built Beardsley Electric cars got together for “possibly the largest gathering of one make of electrics ever assembled for a tour.” The drivers, along with over 100 guests, drove from the Beardsley Showroom in downtown Los Angeles to the Hotel Virginia in Long Beach where the party indulged in a banquet and a dip in the ocean before returning home. Each car averaged over 70 miles on the trip and it is reported that “not a single mishap occurred and every car finished the run on its own power.”

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At the time, the Beardsley company attempted to compete with the larger automobile builders in the East by promoting a new light town car touted as “the lowest priced electric built in America.” Beardsley built a factory in Los Angeles but the company’s fortunes soon fell with the rise of much cheaper gasoline-powered cars and the company closed in 1918.

Read more about this and other historic electric vehicle trips at SociabilityRun.org